Why did it take Child Protection Bureau four years to reunite a child with his parents?
Umar Naimat, an 11-year-old child, had gone missing from Sheikhupura on May 23, 2015 and could not be found for four years leading the family and the kid to experience extreme pain of separation every day.
The child, whose father is a bus conductor, did not know much about his residence because he was a slow learner. He was with his aunty when he went missing from a bus stop in Gujranwala. He boarded a bus and reached Daska, Sialkot, where police tried to locate his parents through announcements in mosques but all in vain. Then, he was handed over to Punjab’s Child Protection and Welfare Bureau.
What led to Umar’s recovery?
Sialkot District Police Officer Captain (retd) Mustansar Feroz said he was set to visit heirs of martyrs of police after offering Eid prayer, but he found Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Syed Bilal Haider at the mosque who invited him to the Child Protection Bureau. So, he spontaneously accompanied him to the bureau, where he met with Umar Naimat among other children.
Mustansar Feroz said the Child Protection Bureau’s officials told that he had been residing with them for four years. They said he was mostly dysphoric and bereft and was at times seen sobbing. Mustansar said he was moved by his story and decided to make efforts to reunite him with his family.
A week later in a detailed discussion with the child, the Sialkot DPO realized that the most difficult aspect of the story was that he did not remember his village name. However, he could tell his father’s name and he remembered that his mother belonged to Mallian. This much information laid the basis for search of his parents.
Search for Umar’s parents begins
Mustansar said with the help of police record and other government record he found four villages with Mallian’s name. He sent teams comprising two police officials to find Umar’s parents.
The teams met meter readers, postmen and polio workers of those areas and had made announcements at mosques if anybody knew about the child’s parents. They also reviewed reports of the relevant police stations.
Reunion with parents
The police team which succeeded in finding the relatives of Umar comprised Constable Sajid Ali and Sub-Inspector Muhaddis Baig. When they talked to Naimat, they had realized that he was father of Umar.
Sub-Inspector Muhammed Nadeem, who helped in this reunion, said he was so jubilant after watching the family happy.
“We feel that this good virtue will absolve us of our sins,” he said.
Umar’s aunty also thanked the policemen saying that some of her relatives suspected that she made him go missing.
Mustansar Feroz said the success has encouraged them and they would now apply the same model to reunite other children with their parents as well.
He also suggested to take DNA samples of those complaining about their missing children and compare them with DNA samples of the kids with the Child Protection Bureau. He believed that this would not only ease the process of search but will also cut expenditures on resources.